Sir Duke and I

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

Sir Duke and I – SoundCloud link:

When you’re surrounded by genius minds it’s easy to produce brilliance. I’m afforded that ability daily through the students I teach. In my broadcast announcing course, I tell students announcing is not only about voice. People are able to add multiple digital elements to announcements.

I felt the brink of complacency. I am uncomfortable when I dwell in satisfaction. I decided to commit to completing at least one assignment with the students. I chose the Little Momma’s Story Time assignment. I created the assignment in honor of my paternal grandmother. She died before I was born. She was an entrepreneur – a seamstress by trade. I always imagined she would tell me the best stories. I believed she would have made me body-type specific clothing, had she been alive while I was serving as a news anchor and reporter. I always fantasized about our relationship. My father told me one of the reason’s he was impressed by my mother – she cooked biscuits that tasted like Little Momma’s.

In order to pass the Little Momma’s Story Time assignment, students must write a story about their childhood. To meet the simple requirements, it must be voiced with the traditional tools that make a good verbal announcer – tone, pacing, voice quality, projection, audience connection and etc. If students want to go above and beyond the simplicity – I encourage them to use their editing to spark their creativity. I remind them to remember to allow their varying assignments to connect to all demographics for mass appeal.

From what I've been told about my Little Momma, she was a genius who was able to market her brilliance. One of my genius students inspired me to produce a story about my pooch – who will be 10 years old soon – for the Little Momma's Story Time assignment.

This particular student is one of the best writers I’ve encountered. This student happens to love music – hard Rock and Roll to be exact. I beat the complacency blues with this assignment. It honestly was therapeutic. One of my biggest fears as a professor is that I will start to lack in the areas I am professionally strong. I also thought it would be a good idea to produce some of the assignments I assign: to make sure it’s helpful and to gain an understanding of the varying levels of accomplishment and difficulty students experience during the process.

This assignment is also deigned to inspire students to think about podcast production. One story is not a podcast. However, the makings of the story can lead to podcast production – just as one’s genius can lead to one’s brilliance. Serial by This American Life is one example I use for audio podcasts.

I remember when I allowed – the student who led me to my story idea – to listen to the story he said, “That’s brilliant Professor Whitman. That's brilliant.”

I said, “And, you’re a genius, Sir. You're a genius. Your genius led me to my brilliance.”

Here’s to hoping no matter what it is that is your genius you will allow it to lead you to your brilliance.



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